Bioinspired, 3D Printed Heart Valves

3D printed heart valves:

have been created that allow the patient’s own cells to regenerate new tissue. The research team have developed a new fabrication platform that allows them to combine several exact, personalised designs and thereby fine-tune the scaffold’s mechanical properties using melt electrowriting (an advanced additive manufacturing technology). Their long-term goal is to build implants for children that will grow into new tissue and last a lifetime.
Four heart valves in the human body guarantee that blood flows in the right direction. The appropriate opening and closing of heart valves is critical. Heart valve tissue is heterogeneous, which means that diverse biomechanical qualities exist within the same tissue to perform this job.
For the first time, a team of researchers led by Petra Mela, Professor of Medical Materials and Implants at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), and Professor Elena De-Juan Pardo of The University of Western Australia have used 3D printing to replicate this heterogeneous structure. . .

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